Towards Freelance Journalism

About the course “Towards Freelance Journalism”

Our new course is focused on creating a story from a scratch: how to find story ideas, pitch, interview, structure, write a story and publish it in the international media. The course also includes modules on finding media for a story, finding opportunities for journalists and the business processes in journalism.

The main goal of the course is to explain to beginners and experienced journalists from Central Asia how to create high-quality stories and become the independent international journalists.

Course structure:

The course includes 5 main modules:

  • Module 1 – Introduction, search for ideas and media.
  • Module 2 – How to pitch your story.
  • Module 3 – Journalistic opportunities, business and finance.
  • Module 4 – Interview: preparing and conducting, sensitive topics.
  • Module 5 – Story’s structure and conclusion.

Each module includes:

  • Video lectures;
  • Text description;
  • Test assignments for revision of theoretical material(7-10 questions for each course module). Each student must pass the test for each module answering correctly not less than 80% of the test questions, and then move on to the next module. The test can be taken 10 times maximum. After 10 attempts, the system will be blocked and the student must register for the course again. Thus, if the first attempts to pass the test are failed, please review the video lectures and theoretical and practical assignments;
  • After passing the final control test for the content of the entire course with a score of not less than 80%, the student will receive the digital or printed certificate.

Requirements

The course is created for the beginners from Central Asia, as well as journalists interested in independent journalism.

Background information:

The IWPR CA Development of New Media and Digital Journalism in Central Asia project  aims to strengthen the capacity of media, journalism teachers, students and practicing journalists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in the production of high-quality digital, demanded, impartial and objective content. As part of the project, IWPR launched the updated website of the CABAR.asia Media School and the online course “Towards Freelance Journalism”. Course materials will be published exclusively on the Media School platform and will only be available to the registered participants. All courses created as part of the project are IWPR CA property and can be used for other projects at IWPR CA discretion.

 
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Program

  • Introduction

    In the first module, the author discusses the speech perception: what is a journalistic story? What is the difference between the topic and the story? How and where can we find ideas? How to choose the audience and the media for your stories. Author: Didem Tali, independent journalist. She published in the New York Times, National Geographic, The Guardian, BBC, CNN, MPR NEWS, Financial Times, The Economist and many more. Currently, she is Contently editor, engages in multimedia freelance journalism, shoots documentaries.

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  • How to pitch your story

    In the previous module, students learned about a good journalistic story and who can publish such a story. The next step is to learn how to pitch the idea and make sure the world reads it. How do you convince an editor to choose your idea sent via email? How do you make the editor pay attention to your pitch even with the morning coffee or while looking through other emails? Author: Didem Tali, independent journalist. She published in the New York Times, National Geographic, The Guardian, BBC, CNN, MPR NEWS, Financial Times, The Economist and many more. Currently, she is Contently editor, engages in multimedia freelance journalism, shoots documentaries.

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  • Journalistic opportunities, business and finance

    The students already know the basics of storytelling from previous modules. Supposedly, they already have a few ideas, created the contact list of editors, know how to compose a pitch, and maybe even published several stories. The next question that the author discusses in this module is how to take the journalistic career to the next level? One way to get started is to apply for an international grant. Didem Tali shares platforms where you can find journalistic opportunities like this, as well as recommends on how to prepare the grant application and reveals what attracts the grant commission’s attention. In the second part of the module, the author speaks about the journalistic business and financial security. Journalism is a small business where you are both an accountant and a manager. The financial reserves will allow you to discover new horizons, improve your skills and make you an even more interesting and demanded journalist. Author: Didem Tali, independent journalist. She published in the New York Times, National Geographic, The Guardian, BBC, CNN, MPR NEWS, Financial Times, The Economist and many more. Currently, she is Contently editor, engages in multimedia freelance journalism, shoots documentaries.

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  • Interview

    The interview is one of the most important aspects of the journalistic story. This will be discussed in this module. How do you find people for interviews who will add value to the story and how do you address them correctly? The author also emphasizes two types of interviews: the expert interviews and hero interviews. What is the difference between the two? What methods of interviewing exist? How do you find people for the interview on sensitive topics? How can mutual acquaintances, Facebook groups or NGOs help with this? In addition, Didem Tali talks about the importance of asking the right questions, about the “snowball” method, and about ethics of the interview. Author: Didem Tali, independent journalist. She published in the New York Times, National Geographic, The Guardian, BBC, CNN, MPR NEWS, Financial Times, The Economist and many more. Currently, she is Contently editor, engages in multimedia freelance journalism, shoots documentaries.

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  • Conclusion

    How to structure the story? How to create an important interview? How do you conduct qualitative research? How to use all the information that is available to you? In this module, the author discusses ways to make stories interesting and engaging, even if it is a news story or a story about business, economy or technology that often do not interest most people. What are the ways to achieve this? In Didem Tali’s opinion, the story should attract people, their emotions and add value, regardless of the topic. This process is quite complex, but there are still general rules that will help to optimize the process. The first lecture of this module explains more about these rules. In conclusion, Didem Tali talks about the inevitable difficulties on the way to independent journalism, and how this path changed her mindset. The author claims that despite the career challenges, it is important always to remember that what you are doing today is an investment in yourself, which will return later. Author: Didem Tali, independent journalist. She published in the New York Times, National Geographic, The Guardian, BBC, CNN, MPR NEWS, Financial Times, The Economist and many more. Currently, she is Contently editor, engages in multimedia freelance journalism, shoots documentaries.

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Instructors

Frequently asked questions

How to register for the course?
First you need to register on the site itself, then select the course that suits you from the “Courses” section and register for the course itself.
Will I receive a certificate after completing the course?
The certificate is received by those who have passed all the lessons within the course and passed the final test successfully (at least 80%).
What if I don’t pass the test?
After each module in the course there is an intermediate test and a general test at the end of the course. You are given 10 attempts to pass the test. If it fails from the first attempts, you can review the lesson and take the test again. After exhausting 10 attempts, the system will be blocked. You will need to register for the course again to complete it.
What to do if the site is down?
Write to us at the indicated contacts in the “Contacts” section or in social networks.
What should I do if my name on the certificate is different from the name in the passport?
When registering, initially enter your data correctly. If you have indicated other details, write to us. We will correct and send the certificate with the correct data.
Can I take several courses?
Yes. You can take several courses at once or in sequence.
How often are courses updated?
Courses that already exist are not updated. We add new courses after they are crated.
How to participate in your other events?
We conduct various training events for journalists and journalism students from Central Asian countries. You can track new events on our website or on pages on social networks and take part. Often you need to register or pass a competitive selection.
Can only residents of Central Asia take courses?
Online courses are available to absolutely everyone regardless of place of residence. Offline events take place in one of the CA countries.
I am not from the media sector, but I want to enroll in the course. Is it possible?
Yes, everyone can take online courses.
How long is the course?
The “With new media on you” course lasts 12 weeks. During this period, you must complete all the lessons and pass the tests. If you didn’t finish on time, the system will be blocked. But you can overwrite and go through again.